Impact of the 2016 revision of US Pediatric Heart Allocation Policy on waitlist characteristics and outcomes

Defne A. Magnetta*, Justin Godown, Shawn West, Matthew Zinn, Kirsten Rose-Felker, Susan Miller, Brian Feingold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


US Pediatric Heart Allocation Policy was recently revised, deprioritizing candidates with cardiomyopathy while maintaining status 1A eligibility for congenital heart disease (CHD) candidates on “high-dose” inotropes. We compared waitlist characteristics and mortality around this change. Status 1A listings decreased (70% to 56%, P <.001) and CHD representation increased among status 1A listings (48% vs 64%, P <.001). Waitlist mortality overall (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR] 0.96, P =.63) and among status 1A candidates (SHR 1.16, P =.14) were unchanged. CHD waitlist mortality trended better (SHR 0.82, P =.06) but was unchanged for CHD candidates listed status 1A (SHR 0.92, P =.47). Status 1A listing exceptions increased 2- to 3-fold among hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathy candidates and 13.5-fold among dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) candidates. Hypertrophic (SHR 6.25, P =.004) and restrictive (SHR 3.87, P =.03) cardiomyopathy candidates without status 1A exception had increased waitlist mortality, but those with DCM did not (SHR 1.26, P =.32). Ventricular assist device (VAD) use increased only among DCM candidates ≥1 years old (26% vs 38%, P <.001). Current allocation policy has increased CHD status 1A representation but has not improved their waitlist mortality. Excessive DCM status 1A listing exceptions and continued status 1A prioritization of children on stable VADs potentially diminish the intended benefits of policy revision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3276-3283
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)
  • United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
  • clinical research/practice
  • heart disease: congenital
  • heart transplantation/cardiology
  • organ allocation
  • organ procurement and allocation
  • patient survival
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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